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By default sorting for a Flex tree is not hierarchical. Try it with a List and see if it has the same problem.
Flex SDK Developer
Adobe Systems Inc.
In this case, your answer solved my problem because the nodes in the tree do not need any children. However, I am using trees in other parts of my application that have nodes that do have children and the sorting works fine. So let's say I have a tree with two nodes A and B. Now lets say nodes A and B both have children 1 and 2. I can sort the children of nodes A and B using the same methodology above and it works. It's when I try to sort the "root nodes" if you will, that I experience problems. Why is this?
So in this case, A and B would be ArrayCollections contained in one ArrayCollection. So if I sort ArrayCollection A or ArrayCollection B, the selections on the children update as expected, but if I sort the single ArrayCollection containing A and B, the selections do not work as expected. This behavior seems odd.